Thursday, February 27, 2014

ARC Review: The Blood Guard by Carter Roy

The Blood Guard
Author: Carter Roy
Series: The Blood Guard series (Book 1)
Publication: Two Lions (March 4, 2014)

Description: When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove’s seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too?

His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she’s a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect the Pure—thirty-six noble souls whose safety is crucial if the world as we know it is to survive.

Now all those after-school activities—gymnastics, judo, survival training—she made him take, make sense. For suddenly Ronan is swept up in a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always thrilling adventure—dashing from one danger to the next, using his wits to escape the Bend Sinister, a posse of evil doers with strange powers. Falling in with two unlikely companions, Greta, a scrappy, strong-willed girl he’s never much liked and Jack, a devil-may-care teenage pickpocket, Ronan is left with only his wits and his mom’s last words of advice: Trust no one.

That’s a lot for an ordinary kid to deal with. But then again, maybe Ronan’s not ordinary at all.

My Thoughts: THE BLOOD GUARD was an interesting and engaging middle grade fantasy that begins a new trilogy. Ronan Truelove finds his world shaken up when his mother picks him up from school one day and then takes off on a high speed chase. She soon sends Ronan to meet with someone who will take care of him in Washington DC before going off to engage the enemy. 

Ronan finds himself immersed in the world of a Blood Guard which protects Pures from the Bend Sinister whose goal is to eliminate all the Pures and bring about a new world order. He learns that his mother is a member of that Blood Guard and that all the weird lessons and after-school activities that she has enrolled him in are part of his advanced training to possibly join the Blood Guard himself.

First of all, Ronan has to elude Ms. Hand and her evil minions and find his way to Washington. He does manage to catch a train where he meets Jack Dawkins and Greta Susterman. Jack is also a member of the Blood Guard and is a unique and entertaining character. He provides a lot of the humor in the story with his irreverent attitude. He is more or less immortal but also a pickpocket and smart-mouthed fellow. Greta is a former schoolmate of Ronan's. She is also smart-mouthed and, in her own words, a little boastful. She is also excellent at picking locks which comes in very handy.

The story is filled with action and derring do and all sorts of humor. They have lots of adventures as they try to elude the bad guys, find Ronan's missing parents and find Greta's missing father too. Beyond that, they have to find a way to stop the Bend Sinister from using their new invention to steal the souls of the Pure. If the Bend Sinister can trap the souls, the souls can't reincarnate after death and maintain the balance of the 36 Pures who keep life on Earth safe.

Ronan was a great main character. He was smart and creative and brave. I really liked Greta too. I can't wait to read more of their adventures as they try to defeat the Bend Sinister in books two and three of this trilogy.

Favorite Quote:
Call me Ronan.

It's my middle name. My first is Evelyn and my last name is Truelove, which is kind of a spectacular bummer on all fronts, because I'm a guy.
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here. 

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